“Public assembly” refers to any structure or occupancy that is designed for 50 or more people to meet for entertainment, worship, dining or amusement. Since so many people are present at these venues (convention centers, bars/restaurants, theaters, etc.), it is necessary to meet strict fire code requirements and to ensure that the requirements are maintained over time.

The Austin Fire Department maintains regular inspection rotation(s) of places of public assembly, including its night inspection program of bars and clubs.

All solid fences less than six feet in height may be erected without a permit. However, any solid fence over 6' requires an approved permit to be issued from the City of Austin's Zoning Review Department. Adding black plastic to your existing fence is only permitted of the overall height of the finished fence is less than 6' tall and the type of plastic material used is flame retardant. This material must be approved by AFD.  The AFD Fire Marshal's office will require advance payment for services.


Fencing containing groups of people inside a public assembly shall have visible obvious unobstructed openings fencing and exiting shall be approved by AFD. Occupant load cards may be issued for fenced areas containing public assemblies. Exits must be provided to a public way.

Scheduling an Inspection

To schedule a fire inspection, call (512) 974-0160 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or send us an email.

See Fire Inspections information.